Mixed Dairy Farming Systems in Haryana: A Constraint Analysis

Rachna, Gautam and Anika Malik

Abstract


Dairying in mixed farming situations involves millions of resource-poor farmers, for whom animal ownership
ensures critical livelihood, sustainable farming, and economic stability. Attempts to help these farming systems
have met with partial success in the past although their importance is well understood. We look at the problem from
the farmers’ perspective. Adopting the approach hired from theory of constraints an attempt is made to understand
the most important bottlenecks in production enhancement in these production systems. The study was conducted
on 60 randomly selected farmers practicing dairying in mixed farming situation. A list of likely constraints affecting
mixed dairy farming systems was drawn and farmer’s opinion was sought on these. The constraints perceived by the
respondents were divided into six main areas viz. general, feeding, economic, management, health care and breeding.
Management and feeding constraints were perceived as most serious. Decreasing operational land holding was
seen as a major threat to these integrated systems. This, we argue, will result in delinking of rural dairying from
crop husbandry. Similarly, increasing costs of animal feeds and fodders are posing significant threats. These
together with poor animal health management factors are posing risks that in turn will likely compel farmers to
refrain from adopting high yielding cross-bred animals. Lack of clean drinking water and ponds for animals was
also perceived as important constraint. Poor reproductive efficiency of buffaloes was considered a key problem.
Age, extension contact and mass media exposure were significantly and positively associated with constraint
perception. Education was negatively and significantly related to the constraint perception. Steps like development
of favourable market linkages, streamlining of research and development systems, broad basing livestock extension
support and reforming inputs markets are suggested.

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